Summer Colloquium Series

Barnard College Summer Astroparticle Colloquium Series 2021

The Astroparticle Summer Colloquium Series at Barnard College consists of a series of lectures and seminars given by scientists on a diverse array of research topics. The goal of these lectures is to introduce the student to cutting edge research happening in the fields of physics and astronomy. In 2021, the colloquium series will be held online via Zoom due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The program will run from June 10 to July 30 with talks held at 1 PM EDT on Thursdays. Lectures will be 40 min long to allow enough time for discussions after the talks. Speakers will also discuss their career paths and their journeys into the world of physics and astronomy. Speakers will come from a diverse set of STEM careers. 

The Barnard Astroparticle Summer Series is complementary to the Nevis Labs REU summer lectures that will be held from June 10 to July 30, weekly at 1PM EDT on some Tuesdays. The Nevis REU series consists of talks followed by a “virtual” (hybrid or remote-only) lab visit, where scientists will showcase their day-to-day work/activities. We invite students to join the Nevis REU Series this summer and take advantage of the 1 PM talks on Tuesdays and Thursdays to be exposed to a rich and diverse set of scientific research in physics and astronomy. 

Please fill in the following form if you would like to participate. This step is necessary in order for you to receive a Zoom link invitation. (Please note that you have to register just once for the entire series). 

Registration Form Link

Previous Years:

June 10

Title: Astroparticle Physics: Cosmic Mysteries & Introduction to the Barnard Summer Colloquium Series
Speaker: Reshmi Mukherjee (Barnard College, Columbia University)
Readings: The following CERN Courier articles are good background reading: 

  1. Cherenkov Telescope Array is set to open new windows
  2. A New Way to Study High Energy GammaRays 
  3. Supernova remnants accelerate cosmic rays
  4. Fermi sees giant bubbles in the Milky Way



June 17

Title: Astrochemistry

(This talk will be held jointly with Nevis Labs REU Series)
Speaker: Daniel Savin (Columbia University, Nevis Labs)

  1. Before There Were Stars


June 22 (Tuesday talk: Note special day)

Title: What water tanks in Mexico can tell us about powerful particle accelerators in the universe?
Speaker: Henrike Fleischhack (NASA & Catholic University of America)

  1. Not So Fast, Supernova: Highest-energy Cosmic Rays Detected in Star Clusters


June 24

Title: Hunting for ghost particles at the South Pole
Speaker: Anna Frankowiak (DESY, Germany)

  1. DESY Press release: Ghost particle from shredded star reveals cosmic particle accelerator
  2. DESY Press release: Breakthrough in the search for cosmic particle accelerators
  3. A Nature article: A tidal disruption event coincident with a high-energy neutrino
  4. For an in-depth study: Multimessenger observations of a flaring blazar coincident with high-energy neutrino IceCube-170922A


June 29

Nevis Labs REU Lectures 

Title: RARAF (The Radiological Research Accelerator Facility)
G. Garty (Columbia University)

  1. History of RARAF
  2. 50 Years of the Radiological Research Accelerator Facility (RARAF)


  • To be posted

July 1

Title: Searching for exotic physics with an underground cryogenic detector (CUORE)
Speaker: Reina Maruyama (Yale University)

  1. Is the neutrino its own antiparticle?
  2. The CUORE Underground Experiment Narrows the Search for Rare Particle Process


July 6

Nevis Labs REU Lectures 

Title: Unraveling the very-high-energy Universe with ground-based Cherenkov telescopes
M. Capasso (Barnard College, Nevis Labs)

  1. Cherenkov Light: Explain it in 60 seconds
  2. The Cherenkov Telescope Array: A Youtube video
  3. Two mirrors and a new camera for a sharper view: the Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope


July 8

Title: Mapping highly energetic messengers throughout the Universe
Speaker: Sara Buson ( University of Würzburg) 

  1. Neutrinos Linked With Cosmic Source for the First Time
  2. What is it like to stare down the barrel of a black hole? Blazars explained
  3. Multimessenger observations of a flaring blazar coincident with high-energy neutrino IceCube-170922
  4. An excellent review article for those who wish to explore in depth: Astrophysical Sources of High-Energy Neutrinos in the IceCube Era 


July 13

Title: Recent developments in photodetection for Astroparticle Physics
Francesco Giordano (Università degli Studi di Bari, INFN - Bari)

  1. Find out what a Silicon Photomultiplier is and how it works
  2. HERD, the High Energy cosmic-Radiation Detection facility


July 15

Title: Story of Escape: A Gamma-ray Photon's Extragalactic Journey
Speaker: Amy Furniss (Cal State East Bay)

  1. Probing the Extragalactic Background Light


July 22

Title: A graduate student's life building a novel dual-mirror telescope
Speaker: Deivid Ribeiro (Columbia University)

  1. Live feed from Arizona - Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope
  2. Detection of the Crab Nebula by the pSCT!
  3. See a youtube video of the pSCT being built


July 27

Nevis Labs REU Lectures 

Title: ATLAS 
Speaker: J. Gonski (Columbia University)

  1. A new map of the standard model
  2. Why do matter particles come in threes? 
  3. ATLAS: The making of a giant


  • To be posted

July 29

Title: Ghostly Beams: The wonderful world of accelerator neutrinos
Speaker: Anne Norrick (Fermi National Accelerator Lab)

As has been the tradition, the closing lecture is given by a Barnard College alumna. Anne Norrick, postdoctoral research associate with the NOvA experiment, and Barnard alum will tell us about her research and her path to science. 


  1. Gotta catch ’em all: new NOvA results with neutrinos and antineutrinos

  2. Symmetry magazine: Neutrino oscillations

  3. A great introduction to neutrinos


Columbia Affiliations
VERITAS research at Barnard College & Columbia University is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation